Louisiana Leave Laws & Holidays

Paid Time Off (PTO), Vacation Time, Sick Leave, Maternity Leave, Bereavement Leave, Jury Duty Leave, Military Leave, and Voting Leave

Paid Time Off (PTO) in Louisiana

Vacation Leave Quota 

Louisiana has zero vacation days. 

Louisiana doesn’t have a statute for vacation time, so private-sector employers are not required to provide paid or unpaid vacation. Each company can decide its vacation policies. However, if an employer chooses to offer vacation leave to its employees, paid or unpaid, it must comply with appropriate state law, established company policy, and employment contract.  

Accrual 

Accrual is not compulsory in Louisiana, but it is widely used by companies. 

Employers are generally free to design their vacation accrual system, such as weekly, semi-monthly, or monthly increments. It is usually based on the pay period.  

An employer may cap the amount of leave (set the limit) an employee may accrue to prevent an employee from accruing vacation over a certain number of hours. For new employees, the employer may set a reasonable period during which no vacation is accrued. 

U.S. federal or state law doesn’t require employers to provide accrued time off. 

Roll Over (Carry Over, Brought Forward) 

A Use-It-or-Lose-It policy is permitted by state law. Therefore, an employer is not obligated to let employees carry over unused leave into the following year.   

A Use-It-or-Lose-It vacation policy implies that an employer doesn’t have to pay employees for unused vacation leave at the end of the year. That way, an employee loses the remaining vacation days, unpaid. Regardless, employees must be allowed to take a vacation and be aware of this policy. 

Statutory Provisions Addressing Vacation Pay 

According to the employer’s stated vacation policy, an employee must fulfill both of the following requirements in order to receive payment for any unused vacation time: 

  • Have accrued vacation time.
  • Be eligible for a vacation upon discharge or resignation. 

Payment of Accrued, Unused Vacation on Termination 

Yes, employers must pay for this accrued vacation time. 

No matter the reason for an employee’s termination, the law states that they must be paid for all accrued but untaken vacation time.  

However, one Louisiana Court of Appeals court determined that an employee’s claim for unused vacation pay may be rejected if they were fired for good reason. Louisiana’s courts are divided on whether an employer can refuse to pay an employee’s accrued or earned vacation when the employee leaves the company if the employee doesn’t follow certain requirements, like giving two weeks’ notice. 

Employers can’t force employees to sign a contract or policy that requires them to forfeit any accrued wages (including vacation pay) upon termination. 

Employers must pay terminated employees before the next payday or within fifteen days (whichever comes first), or they will be liable for 90 days’ wages at the employee’s regular rate. 

Payout 

An employer pays for accrued, unused vacation on termination. 

Sick Leave in Louisiana

Federal law requires up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected sick leave. No additional state sick leave laws. 

Federal Laws – Leave Quota 

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) entitles qualified employees to take job-protected leave up to 12 weeks off for personal medical reasons, to care for a close family member suffering from a severe illness, or for maternity/paternity leave.    

Employees qualify for FMLA benefits if they: 

  • have been working for their employer for at least 12 months (at least 25 hours per week) or 1,250 hours in the previous year 
  • work in a location where at least 50 people are employed by the company (in a 75-mile radius)     

Check out our article on FMLA to learn more.   

Louisiana State Laws 

Louisiana doesn’t require private employers to provide employees with paid or unpaid sick leave. Eligible employers in Louisiana must comply with FMLA, but there are no additional state sick leave laws.  

Nonetheless, it is necessary to remember that if an employer chooses to provide sick leave benefits, it must comply with the employment contract or employee handbook. This way, an employer may create a legal obligation to grant it. 

Maternity, Paternity, FMLA in Louisiana

Federal law 

12 weeks of unpaid maternity or paternity leave is provided by FMLA.  

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that mandates employers to provide at least 12 weeks of unpaid family leave following the birth or adoption of a child. Unless otherwise authorized by the employer, an employee must take this leave continuously.  

In general, employees are qualified to take FMLA leave if they have worked for their employer for at least 12 months and at a location where they employ at least 50 employees within 75 miles. For more information about eligibility for FMLA benefits, look above under the section Sick Leave in Louisiana: Federal Laws – Leave Quota 

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) is yet another federal law that protects pregnant women. According to the PDA, discrimination against pregnant people is prohibited in all areas of employment: hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, fringe benefits, training, leave, and health insurance. 

Additional State Laws in Louisiana 

In addition to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, Louisiana has the following laws regarding Maternity and Paternity Leave: 

Louisiana Pregnancy Disability Leave 

Employers with more than 25 employees are required to provide maternity leave for up to 6 weeks for employees who do not have pregnancy-related complications or disabilities (“normal” pregnancies) and up to 4 months for employees with disabilities related to pregnancy, childbirth, or other related conditions (“seriously disabling” pregnancies). 

Payout 

Maternity leave in Louisiana is unpaid. 

Bereavement Leave in Louisiana (Funeral Leave)

Employers in Louisiana aren’t required to give bereavement leave 

Bereavement leave is taken by an employee in the event of the death of a close relative. 

No federal or Louisiana law requires an employer to provide employees with paid or unpaid bereavement leave or any time off to attend an immediate family member’s funeral. If an employer decides to provide bereavement leave for employees, they may be required to follow a bereavement policy they have in place. 

Payout 

Bereavement leave in Louisiana is unpaid. 

Jury Duty Leave in Louisiana

All employers must provide their employees with job-protected, paid leave for their jury duties. 

When employees are called to serve on a state petit or grand jury, the employer is required to pay up to 1 day’s wages. After that, the court pays the employee $25 a day. Furthermore, the employee can’t be required to use any available vacation, sick leave, or other accrued personal leave while responding to the call or subpoena. 

Employees have to provide reasonable notice as evidence of requirements regarding their jury service. 

An employer may not fire, threaten, or otherwise coerce employees because they receive or respond to a summons, serve as jurors, or attend court for prospective juror service. 

Payout 

An employer pays    

The first day of the trial (normal wages).    

The court pays    

Starting on the 2nd day of service, $25 a day (juror pay is a token amount). 

Military Leave in Louisiana

An employer must allow employees to take unpaid military leave. 

Federal Law 

All employers in the United States are governed by the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). USERRA protects members of the Army and Air National Guard who are called away from civilian jobs for federal service. Employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees who serve in the military. An employer may fire an employee only for a good reason for up to one year after returning from service. 

Louisiana State Law 

Any employee who is called to active duty in the Louisiana National Guard, the state militia, or another branch of the state military forces is entitled to reinstatement to the same or a comparable position with the same seniority, status, benefits, and pay after completing service. If an employee no longer meets the qualifications for a former position due to a disability acquired while serving in the military but meets the requirements for another position, the employee must be given a comparable position. 

Employees must report to their employer within 72 hours of being released from treatment for service-related injuries. Unless they do so, they risk losing their job. 

Payout 

Military leave is unpaid. 

Voting Leave in Louisiana

Employers aren’t required to provide voting leave. 

Most states in the U.S. provide time off for voting. Louisiana is not one of them. The state of Louisiana has no voting leave statute.  

No federal or state law in Louisiana requires employers to provide employees with either paid or unpaid time off to vote. 

Payout 

Voting leave is unpaid. 

Louisiana State Holidays for 2022

Louisiana law doesn’t require private employers to provide employees with paid or unpaid holiday leave.    

Private employers don’t have to provide paid or unpaid leave for holidays. Private employers in Louisiana can require all employees to work holidays. However, the majority of employers in Louisiana do provide at least 7 paid holidays. Holiday pay is not mandated by law; private employers aren’t required to pay a worker premium pay for working on national holidays, which is generally “time-and-a-half” or 150 percent of their normal pay, unless the time worked benefits the employee for overtime under standard overtime laws. 

 

Complete list of official holidays recognized and celebrated by the state of Louisiana in 2022: 

Date Holiday
Saturday, January 1 New Year’s Day (Observed Friday, December 31) *
Monday, January 17 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (3rd Monday in January)
Tuesday, March 1 Mardi Gras
Friday, April 15 Good Friday (Friday before Easter)
Monday, May 30 Memorial Day (Last Monday in May)
Monday, June 19 Juneteenth (Observed Friday, June 17) **
Monday, July 4 Independence Day
Monday, September 5 Labor Day (1st Monday in September)
Tuesday, November 8 General Election Day (Tuesday, after the first Monday in November, every two years)
Friday, November 11 Veterans’ Day
Thursday, November 24 Thanksgiving
Sunday, December 25 Christmas Day (Observed Monday, December 26) *

* Holidays that fall on Sunday are observed on Monday; holidays that fall on Saturday are observed on Friday.

** By proclamation of the Governor of Louisiana

Sources

  1. Louisiana Laws Search – Louisiana State Legislature, http://www.legis.la.gov/legis/LawSearch.aspx
  2. The Louisiana Workforce Commission – The Department of Labor, https://www.laworks.net/laborlawinfo.asp
  3. The Louisiana Labor Law Guide, https://joinhomebase.com/state-labor-laws/louisiana/
  4. Louisiana Payroll and Benefits Guide, https://www.papayaglobal.com/countrypedia/country/united-states-louisiana/
  5. Louisiana Labor Laws Guide, https://clockify.me/state-labor-laws/louisiana-labor-law
  6. Helpside – Employee Leave Laws by State, https://www.helpside.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Employee-Leave-Laws-by-State-Final.pdf
  7. Leave Laws by State and Municipality: 50-State Charts, https://www.xperthr.com/fifty-state-charts/leave-laws-by-state-and-municipality/20973/

 

Updated: September 7, 2022 

 

Check out our Leave Laws page to learn more about laws in various countries. 

    All materials have been prepared for general information purposes only to permit you to learn more about this region's leave laws. The information presented is not legal advice, is not to be acted on as such, and may not be current. Please contact your local legal counsel to learn more about the leave laws in your country.